If you are less well known than Stephen King, your book titles (and covers) are of paramount importance in attracting new readers. Allowing for a slight exaggeration, each week about a million new books are published, glutting the market. Amazon, Barnes and Nobel, and so forth make it easy to publish a book. It’s pretty cheap, too. Expect your dry cleaner or local dog walker to be putting one out any minute. Vanity Publishing. It’s all the rage.
In fact, there are even programs for sale on the internet that will write the book for you. You merely provide a subject matter and it’s off. It will write paragraph after paragraph and keep on going until you tell it to stop. 15,000 words? 30? Just plug it in, baby, and go to a movie. A double feature if you want an 85K book.
So we have arrived. Now the ‘author’ no longer needs to write a sentence in order to produce a book. Actually, you don’t even need to be in the same room. Naming a book is super important.
This can cause a certain amount of trouble for actual writers trying to write actual books. Nowadays, you not only have to write a damned good book, you have to make people notice and choose it from the multitudes. To that end, you cannot spend too much time or thought in choosing the right book title (and cover).
1 – The title should be short and catchy – dare I say clever – pulling the reader in immediately. Even if they don’t know who the devil you are, ideally, the thumbnail image of the book should make them pause for a moment to look it over. My latest book, The CEO Came DOA, book five of the Alvarez Family Mysteries, I believe accomplishes that. When the title came to me out of the blue, I wrote the entire story around it. A bit unusual, but I knew it was the perfect book title and might lead to something good. Glad to say, it did.
2 – If you’re writing a series, each title should work with the others, (just like the book covers). Notice I keep putting any reference to book covers in parentheses. This is because we’re only supposed to be talking about the book titles. But, frankly, they go hand in hand. You need to have both at primo.
3 – Most importantly, make sure it’s an unused title (and try not to have a book cover that looks like everyone else’s). What I do is type the title I’m thinking of using into Amazon to see if another book pops up. When I named the second of the Alvarez Series, A Wedding to Die For, I hadn’t thought about that. After the book was published, I saw there were two others with the same title. This can lead to confusion on the reader’s part. Plus, you don’t want to be publicizing someone else’s books when you’re trying to push your own. Fortunately for me, the two titles were for older books, but it was a lesson well learned.
4 – Writing, like Life, is a question of learning lessons.
Please visit these other writers by simply clicking on their names. Their slant on this issue should be very interesting and informative.
Happy writing and happy reading!